#10 (2016 Top 10) > An Insurer's Care Transition Program Emphasizes Medication Reconciliation, Reduces Readmissions And Costs
Author: Jennifer M. Polinski, Janice M. Moore, Pavlo Kyrychenko, Michael Gagnon, Olga S. Matlin, Joshua W. Fredell, Troyen A. Brennan, William H. Shrank
Adverse drug events and the challenges of clarifying and adhering to complex medication regimens are central drivers of hospital readmissions. Medication reconciliation programs can reduce the incidence of adverse drug events after discharge, but evidence regarding the impact of medication reconciliation on readmission rates and health care costs is less clear. We studied an insurer-initiated care transition program based on medication reconciliation delivered by pharmacists via home visits and telephone and explored its effects on high-risk patients. We examined whether voluntary program participation was associated with improved medication use, reduced readmissions, and savings net of program costs. Program participants had a 50 percent reduced relative risk of readmission within thirty days of discharge and an absolute risk reduction of 11.1 percent. The program saved $2 for every $1 spent. These results represent real-world evidence that insurer-initiated, pharmacist-led care transition programs, focused on but not limited to medication reconciliation, have the potential to both improve clinical outcomes and reduce total costs of care.